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SF Airlines launches freighter service to transport mainly perishables to Lhasa

SDI Logistics Co.,Ltd | Updated: Feb 07, 2018

CHINA's SF Airlines has commenced a new service linking Chengdu to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Operated by a Boeing 757-200 freighter, this service is the second the carrier has launched so far this year.

The first flight took to the skies on January 22 with regular services slated to start in April. SF Airlines said the service would mainly transport perishables, including hairy crabs from Yangcheng Lake, cherries from Yantai, Shandong province, and peaches from Wuxi, Jiangsu province, reported London's Air Cargo News.

SF Airlines said: "The Lhasa-Chengdu freight route will promote SF's industrial advantages of utilising its own aviation capacity and e-commerce platforms to establish vertical service channels and regional service networks for agricultural products."

The airline added that the service will "further promote the economic and trade cooperation between Tibet and other domestic regions, as well as serve the development of agriculture in Tibet."

Earlier in January the airline commenced a new service to Mongolia on a Shenyang-Changchun-Ulan Bator-Shenyang loop.

The airline highlighted the difficulty of flying to Lhasa on the Tibetan plateau, which has an average elevation of 4,500 metres and is known as the roof of the world.

It said the meteorological conditions in the plateau are complex, with a large temperature difference between day and night, while the wind direction and wind speed vary greatly.

"Low clouds, low visibility, dense fog, low temperature and freezing are common," airline said. "In addition, the plateau topography has obvious interference to the radio waves, and it is very difficult for aircraft to take off and land.

"The go-around procedures [an aborted landing attempt] are complex and there are diversified restrictions due to high altitude."